White elephant

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A selection of thoughts

1. I registered for BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) yesterday. Will be going with two ladies from playgroup, along with our kids, who have a parallel class. Did my first daily lesson today, reading a handout of notes. Some familiar, some possible tiny red-tinged flags. The whole year we’ll be studying John — looking forward to getting into the book.

2. We continue to go to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Walkerton. In Sunday School, Glenn (the pastor) is leading us through the Westminster Confession of Faith. So far the weeks we’ve been attending have all been about baptism. It’s good to be refreshed on the rationale for infant baptism, something we both grew up with, grew out of, and hesitatingly returned to.

This week we talked about the perspective or attitude with which we look at, interact with, consider, our children — as already, in a sense, children of God, children of the covenant — not as heathen to be converted, but children to be raised up.

I find this idea challenging both to my old evangelical-fundie roots (gotta have a concrete, distinct experience of making faith one’s own) and my modern sensibilities (gotta respect and encourage the child’s right and responsibility to test ideas, explore, and choose).

I also find this idea beautifully inclusive and appealing.

3. Playgroup was at the park today. There were moments of clinging and moments of roaming and even some moments of direct interaction with other children. Normally I’ve required her to stay in the old-tire-mulched area where we are, but this time let her roam, within sight, to the pavilion, the other tire-mulched area, and in the grassy places in between and all around. It was fine.

4. The closet is progressing. All the contents are piled in the room. The new shelves are in the car along with their hardware. I’ve cleaned, patched, sanded, and painted. Tomorrow I hope to cut the hang rails to length, and perhaps start hanging.

5. I’m going to do a hammered dulcimer concert, Saturday October 24, at 7pm, on campus. Looking forward to it, mostly, but also dealing with the usual nerves, insecurities, etc. Gotta get the closet done so I can get the dulcimer out and start planning and practicing.

Group

This will probably strike at least someone as funny. I think it’s funny, too.

I’ve never really been part of a group before — I mean a group like this, the playgroup Amy and I participate in.

Frankly, it’s a little confusing sometimes. (I know text doesn’t convey tone well — trust me, I’m writing lightly and with humor.)

There’s the weekly group playdate on Wednesdays — that’s not confusing.

Occasionally I’ll get together privately with one or two other moms and their kids — that’s not all that confusing either, although sometimes I have a hard time knowing how to communicate about it. What do you say when one mama asks what you’re doing this weekend, and you’re going to be getting together privately with another mama? I always thought it wasn’t polite to talk about exclusive plans in front of people who aren’t invited, but then again answering a question like that isn’t like just announcing my plans.

I recently started something I’m calling Friday Few. I like the large group on Wednesdays, but also getting together with just one or two others allows for a little more depth in conversation, and a little less chaos and noise, too. At first, before I started Friday Few, I tried inviting people individually, which was tricky, because if I invited someone (for Friday) on Monday, I might find out on Thursday that they weren’t able to come, and then I’d only have one day’s notice to try inviting someone else. (And I find it challenging to be flexible and gracious when things change on short notice.) So with Friday Few I use a Facebook note, and whoever signs up first for a given date is scheduled. It keeps the playdate very small, but it doesn’t hurt any feelings because everyone is still invited.

Tomorrow is the first one someone signed up for. She asked if we could meet at her house instead of mine, and we’re probably going to take the strollers around to the town-wide yard sales. Two playgroup mamas are having sales, and others will likely be shopping, too. It shouldn’t be awkward if we run into anyone, since the Friday Few thing is public and all. And yet… (rolls eyes at self).

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who feels awkward hearing about someone else’s plans with someone else, or running into people who are hanging out with each other, or anything like that. I know that people get together, and I’m not always included, and sometimes I am, and both are okay. And yet — I still feel so adolescent sometimes about all this social stuff!

Meta Meta

I had ribs. They were delicious. And messy. And I suddenly realize, probably the most expensive thing at our table — oops.

The usual wonderments, a little during, a little after — did I listen well or interrupt too much? Did I say or do anything foolish?

But no spiraling out about it — just a little reflection and consideration. Not a bad thing.

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Read in the tag surfer a post about the NOMA proposal for how science and religion don’t conflict, i.e., because they are about entirely different things.

I don’t do NOMA. Instead, I think science as scientific method and science as secular philosophy are two distinct animals. People of any faith or worldview, secular or religious, have basic assumptions they bring to the table — often unaware, always axiomatic. These assumptions affect how they use and interpret the scientific method.

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Had a nice chat via facebook with the only person I’m in touch with from high school. We have some important things in common, and it was refreshing to share them.

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Amy counted to 36 this morning. She skipped 20. And thought 39 came after 36. That’s okay.

I sometimes suspect that I am forgetting the distinction between “I” and “you,” because I’ve gotten so used to Amy referring to herself as “you,” I usually hear it as “I.”

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I hosted playgroup yesterday morning. Two other mamas came, which made for a rather relaxing playgroup. Four kids — and except for a little pushing and a fall down part of the stairs (unrelated), they got along just fine.

One of the mamas wanted to hear the dulcimer, which was easy as it was already set up. I also got out the bowed psaltery and let the kids try it. It’s fun to show instruments to people who are interested in them.